What If

He’s so excited about Little League.
He’s on the Astros this year and it’s machine pitch. This is a big deal, y’all!

He got all geared up last night and ran ahead of us ready to get going – hoping to show the coach how well he can hit with his new bat.

The sight of him in the waning light struck my heart and I realized how quickly he’s growing up.  He’ll be 7 next week – my baby.  I can hardly believe it.

I whipped my phone out of my purse and snapped a picture just as he happened to look back to check that we were behind him.

{my heart}


There was a moment last night where I thought this might be the last picture I ever had of him

About 5 minutes into practice he needed to go to the restroom.  I could see the restrooms from the bleachers, so I let him run off to the restroom by himself.

After 5 minutes, I got up to walk over to the restrooms sure that he’d be in there playing in the water.

I yelled his name into the men’s room.


I yelled his name into the women’s room.


My heart sped up in my chest and my hands started shaking, I walked a bit faster towards the field straining my eyes for those dirty white baseball pants, black shirt, any glimpse of his freckled face.

A couple of the moms upon seeing me returning without him started heading my way.  That’s when I knew I hadn’t missed him, he hadn’t returned to the field.

He wasn’t there.

My heart plummeted to my feet and fear flashed through my body as images of our lives without him raced through me and horror skittered down my spine.

I screamed for Princess to come help and we took off through the park.

Screaming his name.

Yelling for him.

Tears in my eyes and fear choking my heart.

Minutes taking forever, yet racing by.

No sign of him.

Suddenly from the other side of the park I saw a golf cart with a small figure in a black shirt and white pants in the passenger seat.

The relief, the fear, the tears.. my mind and body couldn’t reconcile.

Time stopped and then I had him.

He leapt into my arms, legs wrapped around my waist and arms squeezing tightly around my neck.

He sobbed.

I cried and prayed and thanked God.

I closed my eyes and breathed him in – his little boy scent: dirt, sun, sweat, life…. boy.   I felt his heart racing in time with mine, and I thanked God for another chance.

I thanked God for giving me back my son.

The man who had found him explained that when Monkey had come out of the restroom he had gotten a bit confused so he asked a “big person” where Katy American Field 6 was.  He knew exactly where he was supposed to be.  T

here are two leagues that play at this park.  Two sides to the park.  Katy American (us) and Katy National (not us)

The adult directed him to the Katy National field 6.  Completely on the other side of the park.

Thank God that this man saw my tiny, distraught boy with tears tracking down his dirty cheeks and figured out what happened.

He returned my son to me.

Monkey gripped my hand the whole way back to our field 6.

Even watching him every second he was on that field.. my mind still raced with what ifs.

What If.

What If.

What If.

I can’t even imagine if that were the last moment with him, the last picture.

I just can’t…

I hugged him a bit more last night, Nathan read an extra chapter of their book to him last night and I stood in his doorway just a bit longer before and after kissing his sleeping forehead.

I’m so thankful that what if didn’t happen.


It’s been nearly a year since the incident in Galveston at The Pleasure Pier and even though both kids can recite our cell phone numbers at the drop of a hat – seeing how distraught Monkey was last night made me realize that he might not have been able to tell someone my cell phone number.  Hell, I could barely remember my own name as the terror coursed through my body so when I got home I researched safety tattoos and information tattoos for kids and I found SafetyTat.com I ordered one set of pre-printed ones and one set of their write on tats.  Just in case.

I would much rather be safe and overly cautious….


this is not sponsored in any way.  I just wanted to share the link with y’all and remind y’all to please teach your children not only their address and your name and home number, but your cell phone numbers, as well. 

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  1. We lost Jace on the beach at Myrtle Beach when he was five. Our beach towel was right next to the lifeguard chair, which we pointed out when we sat down. Well, he headed for the one that was clear down the beach, and it took us a good 45 heart-stopping minutes to find him.

    Now I carry a Sharpie in my purse at all times and use it to write my cell phone number on their arm if we’re anywhere they could get separated from us! We tried the tattoos and they worked well enough, but they were expensive and wore off faster than I would have liked for the price.

  2. Crying while reading this. My son played Challenger there and those fields can be so confusing! I am so glad he is ok. Yes, we love SafetyTat! Those are great. My boys both have Medic Alert bracelets because they cannot communicate that well.

  3. So glad he is OK. Bless your hearts, what an emotional month this has been for you! I taught my guys to sing my cell phone number when they were toddlers since when you’re distraught you can’t remember numbers, but you can often remember songs. The tats don’t seem to stay for us since my guys sweat and “dirt” them off by playing. So thankful Monkey and you are OK.

  4. SO glad he’s okay!! I can’t tell you how much I fear that happening and all of the what ifs! I’ve looked into the tattoo idea too but mostly for allergies. Definitely considering it more now for general safety too! Thanks for sharing your story.

  5. Oh honey.

    Kyle (8) wandered off on his own at Legoland last weekend and he was separated from us for about ten minutes. Ten of the longest minutes of my life, while I tried not to panic and kicked myself for not giving strict instructions about staying with us and what to do if we got separated.

    I feel you.

  6. I can’t even imagine, I’m sobbing (really, truly) just thinking about it! And THANK YOU for the link – whether it’s sponsored or not I’m ordering some right away!

  7. The worst feeling in the world. We were at a neighborhood block party (not our neighborhood) last year and lost Joe for 5 minutes. He had wandered off to look at something without us knowing it. All of a sudden I looked down and GONE. It was like in the movies where the mom is spinning in circles seeing a huge crowd, everyone but their kid. I’ve never been so scared.

  8. Oh my gosh, such a nightmare. I’ve been there and don’t think there’s a worse feeling in the world. So glad you had a happy outcome.

  9. Scary, I just hate those moments, glad he’s Okay!!!! You are the reason I have made my kids remember my cell number!!!!

  10. Ahhh…this makes my heart race. We went to the Omaha zoo for Labor Day, and my 6yo daughter wandered off TWICE in the gorilla house. She was taking pictures, and wasn’t paying attention to who was around her or where we were. The first time, I found her down the hall crying. And it was crowded. I know exactly how you feel.

  11. the second read that has brought tears today (the first was the “signs” piece you shared this morning… about being kind.

    I am so glad to see a positive outcome to this story – I cannot even imagine that feeling. hugs to you.

  12. Wow, Rachel… what an intense story. My heart was about to jump out of my throat while I was reading that. Every mom’s worst nightmare. My husband thinks I over react sometimes, and that I’m over protective, too cautious, but I would rather be that, than without a child. So happy you found your little man. 🙂 Happy ending, and lesson learned for all.

  13. Rachel, that is my worst nightmare, Little Bird is such a free spirit and independent… I thank God everyday for protecting us and keeping us together. Much love to you and your family… always. xoxo

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